Blog Archive

Employment Law

by Ann Price, Partner

The City of Austin passed the “Fair Chance Hiring” ordinance on March 24, 2016 prohibiting private employers from asking about or considering criminal history until after extending conditional job offers. In so doing, Austin became the first city in Texas to regulate private employers’ use of criminal background information. The ordinance became effective on April 4, 2016.

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.by Ann Price, Partner

In a press release on May 17, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that the final rule changing legal test for determining whether employees are exempt from overtime under the “white collar” regulation will be effective on December 1, 2016. The key provisions of the final rule are that it:

  • Roughly doubles the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 per year, or from $455 to $913 per week. This is a few thousand dollars less that the proposed rule indicated.
  • Will automatically update the salary threshold every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020, based on the 40th percentile of full-time salaried workers in the lowest income region of the country. The proposed rule would have updated the salary threshold annually.
  • Raises the “highly compensated employee” threshold, which allows for the application of a relaxed “duties” test, from $100,000 to $134,004 per year. This is almost $12,000 more than the proposed rule indicated.
  • Will allow employers to count nondiscretionary bonuses, incentives, and commissions for up to 10% of the salary threshold.
  • Makes no changes to the “duties” test.

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Concealed carry by license holders has been the law of the land in Texas since 1995. Effective January 1, 2016, licensed handgun holders in Texas may lawfully carry their holstered handguns in an open manner in many public places.  It is still illegal to carry a handgun on certain types of premises. For example:  schools, collegiate and professional sporting events, bars, polling places, correctional facilities, government buildings, and secured areas of airports.

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